GHESKIO celebrates 5 years of CVD Services

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is now the leading cause of death in Haiti, having surpassed HIV over the past decade.  Over 32% of all deaths in Haiti are due to CVD.  GHESKIO has leveraged its success in HIV and infectious disease to now similarly confront the CVD epidemic in Haiti.  The team is leading the region’s largest natural history study to provide accurate and previously unavailable estimates of prevalence and incidence of CVD risk factors and diseases and to identify modifiable poverty-related drivers of disease to then target intervention for prevention and treatment.  Over the past 5 years, GHESKIO collaborated with the Haitian College of Cardiology and the Haitian Ministry of Health to build a CVD program with 3 components: research, training and patient care.

I.   This year marks the 5th year of this program which counts the following accomplishments:

  1. The set-up of a cardiovascular center at the downtown GHESKIO site with CVD laboratory assays with the ability to perform EKGs and echocardiograms, among other diagnostic procedures. The infrastructure includes a team of workers capable of evaluating patients in their homes and making referrals to the clinic as appropriate.
  2. The enrollment of a cohort of 3,000 patients being followed carefully for incident events: this is the only such cohort in the region of Latin America
  3. Eight research and training programs resulted in the first reliable estimates of CVD in Haiti and the larger region.
  4. Over 30 publications.
  5. A national conference with international experts led to the development of national guidelines for the treatment of hypertension, the major risk factor in Haiti.

II.   New priority areas are now in interventions:

  1. To reduce lead and pollution associated with hypertension
  2. Improve Hypertension and blood pressure control
  3. Understand how to diagnose and prevent heart failure in pregnancy,
  4. Understand how to change CVD risk behaviors in a setting of slum poverty and constant stress,
  5. Development of national guidelines for heart failure in collaboration with the Haitian College of Cardiology and the Ministry of Health

E-Learning program begins at GHESKIO

GHESKIO is pleased to announce that the primary school at GHESKIO Centres has launched an e-learning program for students and families. Given the violence and civil disorder in Haiti currently, this distance learning will enable students and teachers the ability to continue their education through tablet computers connected to the internet. This is a testament to the ability of GHESKIO to pivot to meet the needs of the community no matter what the circumstance. Children will learn the school curriculum via distance learning as well as learn computer skills and play educational games that reinforce learning. Both students and teachers are thrilled to be able to continue their education! Special thanks to the Haitian Global Health Alliance and the Meriuex Foundation for their support of this initiative.

GHESKIO published 31 papers in 2022

In spite of a very difficult year,  GHESKIO kept its doors open while still conducting research. GHESKIO published 31 papers while providing treatment and care at our two centers, set up community centers, and continued staff training; all while tackling the resurgence of cholera and other challenges.

You can download and read the list of publications here

Dr. Marie-Marcelle Deschamps is profiled in the Haitian Times

Dr. Deschamps, co-founder and Deputy Director of GHESKIO, was recently profiled in the Haitian Times.

“For everyone who knows and works with Deschamps, a Port-au-Prince-based doctor specializing in infectious disease, they said she is a pioneering figure in working to improve life in Haiti, including issues not just limited to the medical space. Through her pioneering work as the Deputy Director of GHESKIO, she started her career looking at the HIV/AIDS epidemic sweeping the country in the early 1980s.”

“For everyone who knows and works with Deschamps, a Port-au-Prince-based doctor specializing in infectious disease, they said she is a pioneering figure in working to improve life in Haiti, including issues not just limited to the medical space. Through her pioneering work as the Deputy Director of GHESKIO, she started her career looking at the HIV/AIDS epidemic sweeping the country in the early 1980s.”

With her optimistic outlook and determination, Dr. Deschamps said “If there is darkness, we have to look for light and if there is sorrow, we have to bring joy. I’m going to stay here and fight.”

You can read the entire article at www.haitiantimes.com

Forty years of mentoring and guidance to the GHESKIO staff and serving the people of Haiti.

Dr. Jean “Bill” Pape presented the award to Dr. Warren Johnson, “It is with immense joy that I am celebrating with you Warren’s 60 years of service to Weill Cornell and 40 years of dedication to GHESKIO Centers in Haiti, the institution we created together and built under his careful and continued guidance.”

Dr. Warren Johnson had been a mentor to Dr. Pape in medical school and, in 1979, began working with the GHESKIO team on understanding the etiology of infantile diarrhea. Introducing oral rehydration therapy decreased infantile deaths by two-thirds.

This began Dr. Johnsons’s 40-year mentoring and collaboration with GHESKIO in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Dr. Johnson has been one of the authors of over 100 journal articles with GHESKIO, including the seminal “Outcomes after antiretroviral therapy during the expansion of HIV services in Haiti” and the first description in a developing country (NEJM) of what would later turn out to be AIDS.

Starting with two people in 1979 (Dr. Pape and Dr. Johnson) Dr. Johnsons’s contribution to GHESKIO and the people of Haiti over the past 40 years is immeasurable.

Weill Cornell Department of Medicine honors Dr. Warren Johnson – a mentor to GHESKIO.

 Dr. Warren D. Johnson, Jr., was celebrated on December 13, 2022, in honor of his 60 years of distinguished service as a physician, investigator, scholar, educator, and pioneer on the world stage.

Dr. Johnson’s many years of leadership are legendary. He has mentored faculty and investigators working on some of the most virulent infectious diseases that exist around the world, from HIV/AIDS to malaria, hepatitis, leptospirosis, schistosomiasis, tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, and cryptosporidiosis. As the B. H. Kean Professor of Tropical Medicine, Dr. Johnson has remained at the forefront of breakthrough advances in global health, having mentored countless trainees, including Dr. Daniel Fitzgerald, Professor of Medicine and current Director of the Center for Global Health, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Dr. Jean Pape, who leads the GHESKIO Centers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Interestingly, in l980, Dr. Pape asked Dr. Johnson, on one of Dr. Johnson’s trips abroad, to examine several of Dr. Pape’s patients, who were wasting away from parasitic diarrhea. The examination of these patients alerted both doctors to a new disease, beginning ongoing years of investigation, during which the scourge was identified as AIDS.

GHESKIO Presents at IAS

On December 7, 2022, GHESKIO staff presented at the International AIDS society via webinar. The presentation demonstrated that how GHESKIO has continued to retain patients in care, despite very challenging conditions in Haiti. GHESKIO continues to offer medical services, continue research and training. GHESKIO’s contingency plan described how it has kept the operation running throughout the past year.

Cholera surges in Haiti

A study published as a preprint by researchers from the University of Florida and GHESKIO (a Haitian health-care centre that runs the country’s first permanent cholera treatment facility) shows that the same strain of cholera responsible for the 2010 outbreak is present in current cases.

Read the entire article below.

On the front lines – One doctor’s decades-long fight to heal Haiti

Haitian Global Health Alliance

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